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A Closer Look at the last 20 Ross Races ('94-'14)

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01-11-2015, 04:01 AM
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A Closer Look at the last 20 Ross Races ('94-'14)

I looked at the point scoring races for the 20 seasons from '93-94 to '13-14. I looked at anywhere from a few to several players during each season, depending on the apparent closeness and dynamics of the race. Unless specified otherwise "after X games" or "thru X GP" means after each team had played X games that season. The exception to that would be '06 Thornton, in which case it means "after Thornton had X games available to him to play." When statistics such as the mean or median of the leaders over the 20 season period are given, this simply gives the mean or median of the 20 leaders, with these exceptions:

- For the '95 season, Jagr was the de facto winner, due to him having more goals. However, since Jagr & Lindros tied for the lead in points, each player is counted as having half of the season-end lead for the purposes of both mean & median.

- For the '06 season, Thornton was the de facto winner, due to him scoring more points. However, since Thornton was traded and had a total of 84 games available to him, Jagr actually had more points after each player had 82 available games. Therefore, each player is counted as having half of the season-end lead for the purposes of both mean & median. Finally, Thornton's actual season totals were used in the calculations (not his totals after 82 available games).

- The lockout-shortened seasons of '95 & '13 are treated as follows: The mean & median of most data includes the data for those seasons' leaders (as described above for '95), but adjusted to 82 games. Data for the shortened seasons is not included when comparing the margin of the lead or position of a player at some point in the season compared to the end of (what is presumed to be an 82 game) season.

- The '94 season was 84 games, but unless otherwise specified, the end of that season is considered to be 84 GP, not 82 GP as in other seasons.

I will make another post(s) with some data. If you have any general questions or questions specific to a certain season during the period, then I will do my best to answer that when time permits.


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 01-11-2015 at 05:34 AM.
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01-11-2015, 05:33 AM
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Data for Ross winners '94-'14:

Scoring
Mean- 79 GP, 43 G, 71 A, 114 Pts, 1.45 PPG
Median- 81 GP, 42 G, 70 A, 113 Pts, 1.46 PPG

Adjusted Scoring (to 6.00 GPG & 82 game schedule, no adj. for A/G ratio)
Mean- 46 G, 76 A, 122 Pts, 1.56 PPG
Median- 45 G, 76 A, 120 Pts, 1.51 PPG

ES Scoring
Mean- 71 ES Pts, 63% of Pts at ES
Median- 71 ES Pts, 64% of Pts at ES

Highs & Lows (* shortened season adj. to 82 GP, ** see OP)
--------------------

GOALS

Most

'96 Lemieux 69
'08 Ovechkin 65
'95 Jagr 55*
'06 Jagr 54**
'01 Jagr 52
'01 Iginla 52
'97 Lemieux 50
'12 Malkin 50
'95 Lindros 50*

Least
'10 H. Sedin 29
'03 Forsberg 29
'06 Thornton 29**
'13 St. Louis 29*
'09 Malkin 35
'98 Jagr 35
'14 Crosby 36
'07 Crosby 36

ASSISTS

Most
'06 Thornton 96**
'96 Lemieux 92
'94 Gretzky 92
'07 Crosby 84
'99 Jagr 83
'10 H. Sedin 83
'09 Malkin 78
'03 Forsberg 77

Least
'02 Iginla 44
'08 Ovechkin 47
'00 Jagr 54
'04 St. Louis 56
'12 Malkin 59
'11 D. Sedin 63
'95 Jagr 65*

POINTS

Most (in parentheses finished 2nd in points)
'96 Lemieux 161
('96 Jagr 149)
'94 Gretzky 130
'99 Jagr 127
'06 Thornton 125**
'06 Jagr 123**
'97 Lemieux 122
'01 Jagr 121
'07 Crosby 120
'95 Jagr 120*
'95 Lindros 120*
('94 Fedorov 120)
('96 Sakic 120)

Least
'04 St. Louis 94
'02 Iginla 96
'00 Jagr 96
'98 Jagr 102
'13 St. Louis 103
'11 D. Sedin 104
'14 Crosby 104
'03 Forsberg 106
'12 Malkin 109

ES POINTS

Most (in parentheses finished 2nd or lower in points)
('96 Jagr 95)
'10 H. Sedin 83
'99 Jagr 82
('94 Fedorov 81)
('97 LeClair 81)
'97 Lemieux 79
'95 Lindros 79*
'01 Jagr 78
'95 Jagr 77*

Least
'04 St. Louis 53
'07 Crosby 59
'94 Gretzky 62
'02 Iginla 64
'98 Jagr 64
'14 Crosby 66

ADJ. GOALS

Most
'08 Ovechkin 72
'96 Lemieux 66
'02 Iginla 60
'01 Jagr 57
'12 Malkin 56
'95 Jagr 55*
'06 Jagr 54**
'97 Lemieux 51

Least
'06 Thornton 29**
'10 H. Sedin 31
'13 St. Louis 33*
'03 Forsberg 33
'94 Gretzky 34
'08 Malkin 37
'07 Crosby 38
'98 Jagr 40

ADJ. ASSISTS

Most
'06 Thornton 95**
'99 Jagr 95
'10 H. Sedin 90
'96 Lemieux 88
'07 Crosby 88
'03 Forsberg 87
'94 Gretzky 83
'13 St. Louis 83*
'09 Malkin 82

Least
'02 Iginla 50
'08 Ovechkin 52
'00 Jagr 59
'95 Jagr 65*
'04 St. Louis 65
'12 Malkin 67

ADJ. POINTS

Most (in parentheses finished 2nd in points)
'96 Lemieux 154
'99 Jagr 145
('96 Jagr 142)
'01 Jagr 132
('01 Sakic 128)
'97 Lemieux 126
'07 Crosby 125
'08 Ovechkin 124
'06 Thornton 124**
'12 Malkin 123
'06 Jagr 122**
('99 Selanne 122)
'10 H. Sedin 121
'03 Forsberg 120
'95 Jagr 120*
'95 Lindros 120*

Least
'00 Jagr 105
'04 St. Louis 110
'02 Iginla 110
'13 St. Louis 116*
'98 Jagr 116

PPG (min. 45 GP)

Most (in parentheses finished 2nd or lower in points)
'96 Lemieux 2.30
('96 Jagr 1.82)
'97 Lemieux 1.61
'94 Gretzky 1.60
('96 Lindros 1.58)
'99 Jagr 1.57
('96 Francis 1.55)
'06 Thornton 1.54**
'00 Jagr 1.52
'95 Lindros 1.52*
('97 Lindros 1.52)
'07 Crosby 1.52
'10 Ovechkin 1.51
('94 Neely 1.51)
('97 Jagr 1.51)
'06 Jagr 1.50**
'01 Jagr 1.49
('94 Lindros 1.49)
('94 Fedorov 1.46)
'95 Jagr 1.46*
('96 Sakic 1.46)
('94 Oates 1.45)
'12 Malkin 1.45

Least
'04 St. Louis 1.15
'02 Iginla 1.17
'13 St. Louis 1.25*
'11 D. Sedin 1.27
'14 Crosby 1.30
'98 Jagr 1.32
'10 H. Sedin 1.37
'08 Ovechkin 1.37
'09 Malkin 1.38

ADJ. PPG (min. 45 GP)

Most (in parentheses finished 2nd or lower in points)

'96 Lemieux 2.20
'99 Jagr 1.79
('96 Jagr 1.73)
'00 Jagr 1.66
'97 Lemieux 1.65
('10 Ovechkin 1.64)
'12 Malkin 1.64
'01 Jagr 1.63
('99 Selanne 1.63)
'03 Forsberg 1.60
'07 Crosby 1.58
('01 Sakic 1.57)
('97 Lindros 1.56)
('97 Jagr 1.55)
('03 Lemieux 1.53)
'06 Thornton 1.53**
'95 Lindros 1.53*
'98 Jagr 1.51
('08 Ovechkin 1.51)
('99 Sakic 1.50)
('08 Crosby 1.50)
('96 Lindros 1.50)
('99 Lindros 1.49)
'06 Jagr 1.49**
'94 Gretzky 1.49
'10 H. Sedin 1.48


Least

'04 St. Louis 1.34
'02 Iginla 1.34
'11 D. Sedin 1.39
'13 St. Louis 1.41*
'09 Malkin 1.45
'14 Crosby 1.46
'95 Jagr 1.46*


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 03-14-2015 at 12:13 AM. Reason: lists amended to include previous omissions
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01-11-2015, 05:46 AM
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I don't claim the following data to be 100% correct, since I used data for (at most) several players each season. However, I believe the accuracy is exceptionally high. This includes the current '15 season thru 41 GP. It does not include the shortened '95 & '13 seasons. It includes the 84-game '94 season only thru 82 GP.

Mean & Median margin between first and second after X games:

6 1.8 1.0
7 2.1 1.0
8 2.7 3.0
9 2.7 2.0
10 3.5 3.0
11 3.7 3.0
12 3.5 2.0
13 4.5 5.0
14 4.2 3.0
15 4.2 3.0
16 3.8 3.0
17 3.9 2.0
18 3.9 2.0
19 4.6 3.0
20 4.6 4.0
21 4.5 3.0
22 4.9 3.0
23 4.3 4.0
24 4.4 3.0
25 4.3 2.0
26 4.4 3.0
27 4.7 4.0
28 5.1 4.0
29 4.8 2.0
30 4.7 4.0
31 5.0 4.0
32 4.7 3.0
33 4.8 4.0
34 4.8 3.0
35 5.6 4.0
36 5.5 3.0
37 5.4 5.0
38 5.7 5.0
39 6.0 5.0
40 5.9 5.0
41 5.7 5.0
42 5.9 6.0
43 6.6 7.0
44 6.5 6.0
45 6.4 6.0
46 6.8 7.0
47 6.4 6.0
48 6.5 7.0
49 6.5 7.0
50 6.3 5.0
51 6.2 4.0
52 6.1 5.0
53 6.0 5.0
54 6.1 4.0
55 5.9 4.0
56 5.9 4.0
57 5.8 4.0
58 6.1 5.0
59 6.4 6.0
60 6.0 5.0
61 6.5 6.0
62 6.3 7.0
63 5.9 5.0
64 6.1 5.0
65 5.9 5.0
66 5.6 4.0
67 5.4 4.0
68 6.5 5.0
69 6.6 5.0
70 6.3 5.0
71 6.1 4.0
72 6.5 6.0
73 7.4 7.0
74 7.3 8.0
75 7.6 8.0
76 7.7 8.0
77 8.7 9.0
78 8.2 8.0
79 7.7 8.0
80 7.9 8.0
81 8.0 7.0
82 7.9 6.5

It's interesting that the margin mostly peaks after 43-49 games, which I believe roughly corresponds to at or shortly before the All-Star break. There is a brief, slightly lower peak after 61 games. The official peak is after 77 games, but the margin then is only ~2 points higher than it was over 30 games previous to that. The final margin is roughly the same as it was after 43-49 games (slightly higher mean, similar or slightly lower median).


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 04-04-2015 at 02:17 PM. Reason: last updated thru 77 games of 2015 season
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01-11-2015, 06:27 AM
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Again, I don't claim 100% accuracy of the seasonal data, but here is a look at '94 to '97 (when Gretzky, Lemieux, Jagr and Lindros all finished with at least a piece of the crown):

'94- Gretzky already had an 11 point lead over Fedorov and Lindros after only 16 games, and he maintained at least an 8 point lead after games 15-29 (over Fedorov, except briefly over Lindros or Jagr). Fedorov took over the lead after 34 games and extended his lead to 5 points after 35 games. Gretzky tied for the lead after 39 games and retook the lead from Fedorov after 41 games. Gretzky extended his lead to 10 after 47 games and to 11 after 54 games. Fedorov narrowed Gretzky's lead to 2 after 68 games. Gretzky then extended his lead to 10 after 75 games and 12 after 81-82 games. In an 84 game season, Gretzky's final margin was 130-120 over Fedorov.

'95- Sakic took a small, early lead, but Jagr tied for the lead after 11 games and held the lead from games 12-22. Sakic again tied for the lead after 23 games, but Lindros took the lead after 24 games and held it until Jagr tied him in the final game. This was a close race where the margin never exceeded 6 points, albeit in a shortened 48 game season.

'96- Lemieux basically won this wire to wire (Jagr led after 2 games and was tied after 3), while Jagr was second the whole way. Lemieux's lead was 7 points after 9 games, 9 points after 25 games, 12 after 44 games, and 13 after 48 games. After 72 games, Lemieux held a 139-138 lead over Jagr. Lemieux scored 7 points in game 73 and that was all she wrote.

'97- Sakic held the lead for much of the first 1/4 of the seasons, with a lead of no more than 5 points from games 6-22. Sakic was tied with Forsberg after 23-25 games, then with Forsberg, Jagr, and Sundin after 26 games. Forsberg and Jagr were tied for the lead after 27 games, then Jagr held at least a share of the lead from games 27-37 (twice tied with each of Lemieux & Forsberg). Lemieux took the lead after 38 games, with Jagr second. Lemieux extended his lead over Jagr to 10 after 51 games. Jagr narrowed the lead to 3 after 55 games, and Lemieux's lead was 91-87 after 57 games. After Jagr was injured, Lemieux extended his lead to 14 over now-2nd Selanne after 67 games. Selanne was never closer than 7 points (after 73 games). Lemieux extended his lead to 18 after 77 games, before settling for a 13 point margin of victory.

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01-11-2015, 07:03 AM
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Here's a look at '98 to '01, the reign of Jagr:

'98- The first half of the season was a free for all. The following players were at least tied for the lead during the first half: Jagr, Forsberg, Gretzky, Lindros, LeClair, Modano and Bure. Linemates Lindros & LeClair remained tied for the lead after 17-25 games. The margin never exceeded 4 points thru the first 62 games! After 30 games, the race looked something like this: Forsberg 39, Modano 38, LeClair 37, Bure 35, Lindros 34, Sakic 33, Selanne 31, Palffy 31, Gretzky 28, Jagr 27. Forsberg held at least a share of the lead for all but one of games 35-49. Jagr was the leader after games 50-53, was tied with Selanne & Forsberg after 54 games, then Selanne had the lead after games 55-58. Jagr took the lead again after 59 games and led the entire way after that. Jagr held a 5-7 point lead after games 63-74, extended it to 12 points after 80 games and won by 11.

'99- Jagr led for most of the first 1/4 of the season, but again the first half saw many lead changes. The following players held at least a share of the lead during the first half after at least 15 games: Jagr, Forsberg, Kariya, and Lindros. The margin was never more than 5 thru 44 games. After 30 games, the race looked something like this: Kariya 40, Lindros 40, Jagr 38, LeClair 37, Forsberg 35. Jagr tied Lindros for the lead after 33 games, then took the lead after 34 games. Except for a brief tie with Kariya after 40 games, Jagr held the lead from there. Jagr extended the lead to 10 points after 46 games and it was never less than 7 after that. He led by 15 after 65 games, by 19 after 70 games, and 22 after 76 games, before ending with a 20 point margin.

'00- Jagr basically won this wire to wire, with a clear lead starting after 5 games. He led by 10 points after 15 games, by 13 after 22 games, and by 19 after 36 games. He held an 18 point lead after 43 games, before missing 4 consecutive games, and still held a 16 point lead after 59 games, before missing 12 more games in a row. He held a 3 point lead after 71 games, and was tied with Bure after 79 games, before finally winning by two points.

'01- Allison held the lead for most of the first 1/4 of the season, while Palffy held at least a share of the lead after games 21-34, neither's margin exceeding 4 points. Sakic tied Palffy after 34 games, then took the lead after 35 games. Sakic extended his lead to as many as 8 points over either Jagr or Allison, and held the lead from games 34-52. Jagr held at least a share of the lead from games 53-60, Sakic after 59-65 games, Jagr after 65-74 games, Sakic after 74-76 games, and Jagr had the lead for the final 6 games. Jagr never held a lead of more than 6 points and won by 3.


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 03-14-2015 at 01:00 AM. Reason: revised '98 race
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01-11-2015, 07:27 AM
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A look at the "dead zone" of '02 to '04:

'02- Sakic held the lead for most of the first 10 games, while Iginla tied for the lead after 10 games and then took the lead for good after only 11 games. Iginla already had a commanding lead after 21 games, but his margin narrowed to 2 over Naslund after 55 games. His lead increased to as much as 12 over Naslund after 66 games, and his final margin over him was 6.

'03- Lemieux was on fire to start the season, out to a double digit lead after only 10 games. He led Thornton by 16 after just 21 games and again by the same margin after games 36 & 37. At the halfway mark, he led Naslund by 13. After missing 10 of 11 games, Lemieux returned in game 53 and led Thornton and Naslund by just a single point after 54 games. Naslund finally tied Lemieux after 63 games and held at least a share of the lead in 18 of the final 20 games. Unfortunately for him, one of the two instances in which he didn't was after the final game of the season, when Forsberg claimed the crown by 2 points. Amazingly, after 35 games Forsberg trailed Lemieux by 32 points and Thornton by 17. He was not even in second until after 68 games, when he trailed Naslund by 1. From there, it was a three way battle between Naslund, Forsberg, and Thornton. Forsberg only held a clear lead twice: By 1 point after 75 games and by 2 points after 82 games. That was clearly enough.

'04- Palffy led for most of the first 20 games (never by more than 3 points), although Forsberg held the lead himself on a couple of occasions, and Kovalchuk held shares of the lead a few times. Lang took over the lead after 21 games, then held a lead of no more than 5 points until he was tied by both Sakic & Kovalchuk after 40 games. Sakic held a clear lead after games 41 & 42, before Lang tied him again after 43 games. Lang held at least a share of the lead from games 43-67. St. Louis, who had trailed by as many as 16 points, held a share of the lead 4 times from games 61-67, before taking the lead after 68 games. He held off Sakic down the stretch and his largest margin was his final margin of 7 points.


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 03-13-2015 at 11:30 PM. Reason: revised 2004 race to include Palffy
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01-11-2015, 05:05 PM
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A look at the post-lockout seasons:

'06- The first half saw several players with at least a share of the lead: Forsberg, Alfredsson, Spezza, and Jagr held it outright, while Staal and Heatley were briefly tied. No player held a lead of more than 3 points during the first 38 games. Jagr took the lead after 38 games and increased it to 6 after 42 games, but Alfredsson briefly tied him after 48 games. Jagr built up an 8 point lead after 56 games, which is also about the time that Thornton took over second place. Thornton briefly led by 1 after 65-66 games, but Jagr retook the lead and saw his largest margin of 10 after 77 games. Thornton narrowed it to 1 after 82 games, then took the lead in his 83rd available game and won by 2.

'07- Crosby basically won this wire to wire, taking the lead after 6 games and never looking back. His lead was 6 points after 13 games, 10 after 31 games, and 14 after 40 games. During the first half, mainly Spezza, Lecavalier, and St. Louis alternated for second. Crosby's largest margin was 17 after 57 games. Thornton was rarely in second until the final 10 games, but narrowed the lead to 6 after 75 games, with Crosby's final margin being 7.

'08- Crosby held the lead thru games 6-17. Lecavalier had the lead thru games 18-51, almost exclusively over Crosby, with his largest margin being 8 thru game 33. Crosby tied Lecavalier after game 45 and they were still tied after 46 games, when Crosby began missing games. Ovechkin had a slim lead thru games 52-59. Malkin held at least a share of the lead from games 60-66. Ovechkin took the lead for good after 67 games, although Malkin briefly tied him after 75 games. Ovechkin's final margin of 6 was the largest during the last half of the season.

'09- Malkin basically won this wire to wire. He had an 8 point lead over Crosby after 17 games, which Crosby narrowed to 2 after 25 games, but Malkin built it right back up to 12 after 35 games. Malkin's lead was never less than 7 from games 31-77. Ovechkin and Crosby battled for second over the final 1/3 of the season. Ovechkin narrowed Malkin's lead to 2 after 79 games and Malkin's final margin was 3.

'10- Ovechkin led most of the first 1/4 of the season, with a 6 point lead after 14 games. He then missed games 15-20, while Gaborik took the lead after 19 games and led for most of the second quarter, but never by more than 4. Thornton took his first lead after 29 games and held at least a share of the lead from 32-43 games, with 5 points being his largest lead. Henrik Sedin took his first share of the lead after 43 games and led games 44-56 by as many as 6 points. After 47 games, Henrik & Ovy were in the top two the whole way. Ovechkin retook the lead after 57 games and led games 57-73 by as many as 9 points. Henrik led for 8 of the final 9 games, with the exception being a 1 point lead by Ovechkin with 1 game to play. Henrik's final margin of 3 matched the largest he had during the final 1/3 of the season.

'11- Stamkos led most of the first 25 games, by as many as 7 points. Crosby tied him after 25 games and took the lead after 26. Crosby's last game was the 41st, after which he led Stamkos by 10 and each of the Sedins by 12. Stamkos tied Crosby after 49 games and held at least a share of the lead from games 49-61, with the brief exception of Daniel Sedin's 1 point lead after 53 games. Daniel tied Stamkos after 60 games and was never out of the lead after that. The last time he shared the lead was with Stamkos after 67 games. Daniel Sedin's largest lead was 7 points and he won by 5.

'12- Giroux led for most of the first half of the season, holding at least a share of the lead after games 11-43. He led Henrik Sedin by 8 points after 28 games, before missing the next 4 games. After 28 games, Malkin trailed Giroux by 15 points. Giroux, Stamkos, and Henrik were tied for the lead after 43 games, but Malkin took the lead after 44 games. Malkin held at least a share of the lead the rest of the way, with the exception of Stamkos' brief 1 point lead after 67 games. Malkin had a slim 1 point lead after 69 games, but his margin was 11 after 73 games and he never led by less than 8 in the final 10 games. His highest margin was the final one of 12.

'13- In this shortened season, Stamkos led most of the first 22 games (never by more than 4), although St. Louis and Kane also held clear leads for a few games each during that span. Crosby took the lead after 23 games and led by 10 after 32 games. Crosby's last game was the 36th, at which point he led Stamkos by 7 and St. Louis by 9. Stamkos was in second until after 45 games, when St. Louis both passed him and tied Crosby for the lead. St. Louis took a 2 point lead after 46 games and won by 3.

'14- Crosby led most of the first 16 games, but never by more than 4. Steen had a clear lead after games 17-20, but never by more than 2. The last time anyone else but Crosby held a share of the lead was Steen after 25 games. Crosby had a 10 point lead after 37 games and it was never less than that afterwards. His lead was 14 after 37 games, first peaked at 18 after 68 games, and his final margin was 17.


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 04-04-2015 at 02:04 PM. Reason: revised '08 race to include Lecavalier
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01-11-2015, 06:53 PM
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Wow - great job. You had time to kill.

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01-12-2015, 01:18 PM
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Great great thread. Very good read👌

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01-12-2015, 10:08 PM
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I enjoyed the work put into this - very nice!

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03-10-2015, 10:01 PM
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Great research - thanks for putting this together.

I'm not sure if this is possible but it would be really interesting to see the race (perhaps for the top 5-8 players) in graph form, tracking their progress throughout the season - either in terms of total points, or their margin relative to the leader.

Minor correction: in your second post, you listed all of the players who scored 120+ points from 1994-present but missed Fedorov (120 points in 1994).

There are a few players missing from the PPG list: Lindros in 1997 (1.52 ppg), Jagr in 1997 (1.51 ppg), Ovechkin in 2010 (1.51 ppg), Neely in 1994 (1.51 ppg), Lidrdos in 1994 (1.49 ppg), Fedorov in 1994 (1.46 ppg) and Oates in 1994 (1.45 ppg). You probably know that I don't put much stock in PPG, but it's still impressive to see Lindros with three of the sixteen seasons of 1.5 PPG or more, and one just barely below that.

I thought for sure that your posted the wrong adjusted assists number for Jagr in 1999 (95). Yes, there are legitimate issues with how hockey-reference calculates adjusted assists, but that's a ridiculously good number given the "talent" Jagr had on his team that year.

Maybe I knew this at the time and simply forgot, but I didn't realize that in 2005-06, Jagr was in the lead after 82 games.

Similarly, for 2003, I forgot how amazing Lemieux played at the start of the season. Hard to imagine a 16 point lead in the scoring race after 21 games! I know that Pittsburgh carefully managed his schedule (generally not letting him play back-to-back). He got a ton of ice time when he played though. I wonder if they would have had more luck playing him in more games but with somewhat less ice time?

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03-11-2015, 11:56 AM
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Great job, this is really interesting.

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03-11-2015, 02:54 PM
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That was a very interesting read. Some names I would not have expected to be in contention such as Jason Allison. Just wondering, did Palffy ever have the lead in 03-04? I seem to remember he was right up there until he got injured.

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03-12-2015, 08:48 AM
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One quick note. Using the 6.00 GPG Average, Iím pretty sure Lemieux ended up with a 1.53 ADJ PPG for 2002/3.

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03-13-2015, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Great research - thanks for putting this together.

I'm not sure if this is possible but it would be really interesting to see the race (perhaps for the top 5-8 players) in graph form, tracking their progress throughout the season - either in terms of total points, or their margin relative to the leader.
I agree that it would be interesting to see these races in graph form. Perhaps I will do that at a later time, but I didn't do so due to the time involved in making the graphs and linking them to an online site. I believe the site I previously used is full (no more room for graphs), so if anyone knows a quick & easy site to link graphs, please let me know and I will try to get around to doing that at some point in the future.

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Minor correction: in your second post, you listed all of the players who scored 120+ points from 1994-present but missed Fedorov (120 points in 1994).

There are a few players missing from the PPG list: Lindros in 1997 (1.52 ppg), Jagr in 1997 (1.51 ppg), Ovechkin in 2010 (1.51 ppg), Neely in 1994 (1.51 ppg), Lidrdos in 1994 (1.49 ppg), Fedorov in 1994 (1.46 ppg) and Oates in 1994 (1.45 ppg). You probably know that I don't put much stock in PPG, but it's still impressive to see Lindros with three of the sixteen seasons of 1.5 PPG or more, and one just barely below that.
I obviously missed a lot of important player-seasons, and have added those to the list. Thanks for pointing out those notable omissions.

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I thought for sure that your posted the wrong adjusted assists number for Jagr in 1999 (95). Yes, there are legitimate issues with how hockey-reference calculates adjusted assists, but that's a ridiculously good number given the "talent" Jagr had on his team that year.
I actually used the simplest of possible formulas for the adjusted scoring data on these lists:

Actual Player Data * 6.00 / League GPG

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Maybe I knew this at the time and simply forgot, but I didn't realize that in 2005-06, Jagr was in the lead after 82 games.
It was actually something to which not much attention was paid at the time, and has become all but forgotten by now, mainly because Thornton didn't actually play more than 82 games. When Thornton was traded during the season, the team he was traded to (San Jose) had two more games remaining than the team he was traded from (Boston). So Thornton had 84 games available, but since he missed 3 games due to injury, he only played 81 games. I necessarily structured the study in terms of team games played (to show where players stood at equal points during the season), so instead of declaring the de facto winner (Thornton) or the leader after 82 games (Jagr) the single winner, I treated them as co-winners for the purpose of calculating the means & medians of the winners.

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Similarly, for 2003, I forgot how amazing Lemieux played at the start of the season. Hard to imagine a 16 point lead in the scoring race after 21 games! I know that Pittsburgh carefully managed his schedule (generally not letting him play back-to-back). He got a ton of ice time when he played though. I wonder if they would have had more luck playing him in more games but with somewhat less ice time?
Actually, it doesn't seem like they held Lemieux out of back to back games in 2003. He played 40 of their first 41 games, including both games of 7 of the 8 back to backs they had during that span. He then missed 10 of 11 games, but when he returned he played 17 consecutive games (including 3 more back to backs).

Similarly in 2001, he played both games in 7 of the 9 back to backs that the Pens had after his return (and one of those he missed was the last game of the season).

I think you are recalling his '96 and '97 seasons, when they frequently held him out of back to back games (particularly on the road?).

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03-13-2015, 11:29 PM
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That was a very interesting read. Some names I would not have expected to be in contention such as Jason Allison. Just wondering, did Palffy ever have the lead in 03-04? I seem to remember he was right up there until he got injured.
Great memory and thanks for bringing his '04 campaign to my attention. This study was far from comprehensive and Palffy's 35 game '04 season slipped through the cracks. Palffy indeed led for most of the first 20 games and was still in the thick of the race when he was injured in his team's 40th game. Here is the detail:

Palffy took a share of the lead after 4 games and actually held his largest lead (by 3 points) after 5 games. During the first 20 games, he was the sole leader 9 times and shared the lead 5 times. He was the sole leader in games 15-20, but never by more than 2 points during that time. When he was first injured after 19 games, he led 26-24 over Lang. After missing 5 games, he was trailing by 5 points. The closest he got after that was within 3 points of Lang after team games 29 & 30. He last played in his team's 40th game and after 40 games he trailed co-leaders Sakic, Kovalchuk, and Lang by 5 points (46-41).

Thanks again, that was an important addition to the study!

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03-13-2015, 11:46 PM
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One quick note. Using the 6.00 GPG Average, I’m pretty sure Lemieux ended up with a 1.53 ADJ PPG for 2002/3.
Thanks, list amended!

My apologies for all the omissions on the PPG and Adjusted PPG lists. I have revised those lists.

I have also revised the '98 race to include leads held by Modano and Selanne.


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 03-14-2015 at 01:02 AM.
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03-14-2015, 10:37 AM
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Great memory and thanks for bringing his '04 campaign to my attention. This study was far from comprehensive and Palffy's 35 game '04 season slipped through the cracks. Palffy indeed led for most of the first 20 games and was still in the thick of the race when he was injured in his team's 40th game. Here is the detail:

Palffy took a share of the lead after 4 games and actually held his largest lead (by 3 points) after 5 games. During the first 20 games, he was the sole leader 9 times and shared the lead 5 times. He was the sole leader in games 15-20, but never by more than 2 points during that time. When he was first injured after 19 games, he led 26-24 over Lang. After missing 5 games, he was trailing by 5 points. The closest he got after that was within 3 points of Lang after team games 29 & 30. He last played in his team's 40th game and after 40 games he trailed co-leaders Sakic, Kovalchuk, and Lang by 5 points (46-41).

Thanks again, that was an important addition to the study!
Thanks. It's also cool to see how Lang had led for much of the season. Most people looking back would not have thought that since he cooled off a bit and was not exactly the type of guy you'd see lead the league in scoring for an extended amount of time.

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03-14-2015, 12:07 PM
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Thanks. It's also cool to see how Lang had led for much of the season. Most people looking back would not have thought that since he cooled off a bit and was not exactly the type of guy you'd see lead the league in scoring for an extended amount of time.
Lang didn't really cool off. After 67 games, he was tied for the lead with St. Louis with 78 points. He then missed 11 consecutive games, but still finished 4th in PPG (two of those ahead of him, Forsberg & Savard, played 45 or fewer games... and Lang was edged by St. Louis 1.146-1.145 in PPG).

He was also tied for the lead with St. Louis after 63 games each, when he was traded.

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03-14-2015, 01:06 PM
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As a guy who checked stats in the newspapers obsessively when I was younger, this thread is like reading a personal journal from my past

Great work.I actually remember a lot of these "statistical stories".

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03-14-2015, 07:58 PM
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Lang didn't really cool off. After 67 games, he was tied for the lead with St. Louis with 78 points. He then missed 11 consecutive games, but still finished 4th in PPG (two of those ahead of him, Forsberg & Savard, played 45 or fewer games... and Lang was edged by St. Louis 1.146-1.145 in PPG).

He was also tied for the lead with St. Louis after 63 games each, when he was traded.
Ah, that's correct. It was the playoffs when he cooled down. But I guess so did the entire Red Wings team.

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03-15-2015, 06:15 PM
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As an example, here's a chart showing the day-by-day results of the 2002-03 scoring race. Unlike CYM, the results are shown based on calendar dates.

Lemieux was probably the league leader starting October 12th (I say "probably" because I've only looked at the top eight scorers, and it's possible that someone else had the lead very early in the season). Lemieux was the league leader until February 6th (118 days, assuming he took the lead on October 12th). Naslund took the lead on February 7th (two-point game put him ahead of Lemieux 70-69). Lemieux had a 4-point game the following day, retaking the lead, which he held onto until February 27th, when Naslund pulled ahead. In total, Lemieux was probably the scoring leader for 137 out of 138 days from almost the very beginning of the season. (He briefly re-took the lead a few days after February 27th as well).

Naslund was the leading scorer from February 27th to April 5th (with the exception of two days - he was briefly passed by Lemieux on March 2nd and Thornton on March 22nd but re-took the lead the next day in both cases). He was the leading scorer up until the very last day of the season when Forsberg passed him. Naslund wasn`t particularly bad down the stretch (11 points in his last 8 games), but Forsberg was on fire (18 points in his last 9 games).

As mentioned, Forsberg didn't lead the NHL in scoring until the very last day of the season. He was 32 points out of the lead on December 28th (99 days to go)! He scored 29 points in his first 28 games, then 77 points in his last 47 games.

Thornton, who finished third, was the league`s scoring leader for exactly one day - March 22nd, when he briefly pulled ahead of Naslund, who re-took the lead with a two point game the next day.

Six of the eight top scorers were part of high-scoring duos (the exceptions being Demitra and Lemieux). The game-by-game results of the duos are highly correlated: 0.74 for Thornton-Murray, 0.67 for Naslund-Bertuzzi and 0.59 for Forsberg-Hejduk. Thornton never trailed Murray in scoring. Forsberg and Naslund both trailed their linemates on several occassions, but never by more than two points.

Technical notes:
1. To check the integrity of the data, I`ve added up the the day-by-day results for each player and ensured it agreed to their seasonal scoring totals.
2. All of this was done in Excel and, for simplicity, I`m not differentiating between a player having sole possession of first place in the scoring race, and being tied for first.
3. The entire process of compiling the data, writing the Excel formulae, creating the graph, and doing the write-up took about 90 minutes. I suspect going forward I can make a post about another year in 60 minutes. I might do that infrequently, but am not planning to do all 20 seasons as CYM did.


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 03-15-2015 at 06:36 PM.
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03-15-2015, 10:57 PM
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I suspect going forward I can make a post about another year in 60 minutes. I might do that infrequently, but am not planning to do all 20 seasons as CYM did.
The graph definitely helps the presentation.

If you do decide to post more graphs, I would suggest some of these seasons as the best candidates (with some of the most important players in the race grouped by rough order of importance):

1998- Jagr, Forsberg, Bure... Lindros, LeClair... Selanne, Modano
1999- Jagr, Selanne, Kariya... Lindros (LeClair), Forsberg (Sakic)
2001- Jagr, Sakic... Elias, Palffy, Allison... Kovalev, Straka
2004- St. Louis, Sakic, Kovalchuk... Palffy, Forsberg
2006- Jagr, Thornton, Alfredsson, Forsberg... Spezza, Heatley, Staal
2008- Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby, Lecavalier
2010- H. Sedin, Ovechkin, Crosby... Thornton, Gaborik
2011- D. Sedin, Stamkos, Crosby
2012- Malkin, Stamkos, Giroux, H. Sedin, Spezza
2013- St. Louis, Crosby, Stamkos, Kane


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 04-04-2015 at 02:32 PM. Reason: included Lecavalier in '08
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03-16-2015, 10:02 AM
  #24
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Looking at this years race, winner will probably get less than 90 total points barring a pretty epic run in the final 12-13 games.

That puts you back to 67-68 (Mikita, 87 points) for the last time a full season winner tallied less than 90. Bathgate's 84 point season in 61-62 looms as the low water mark since 1960...and those seasons had fewer total games than this year.

Dead Puck 2.0! Catch the fever!

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03-16-2015, 10:01 PM
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Looking at this years race, winner will probably get less than 90 total points barring a pretty epic run in the final 12-13 games.

That puts you back to 67-68 (Mikita, 87 points) for the last time a full season winner tallied less than 90. Bathgate's 84 point season in 61-62 looms as the low water mark since 1960...and those seasons had fewer total games than this year.

Dead Puck 2.0! Catch the fever!
Most would blame the lack of PPs, but it's more than that.

The fewest ES points by the leader since expansion was Naslund with 58 in '04. Right now, the ES point leaders (Johnson, Tarasenko, Nash) are on pace for ~58-59 ES points.

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